June 17, 2012
Greetings in the Name of the Lord. I pray that the LORD will bless you and keep you at all times. "Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you." Jude 2
After a very exhausting two days of flying from Dallas/Fort Worth to London to Dar es Salaam, we arrived at the airport. We had already paid and received resident permits for Tanzania, but the head immigration officer at the airport refused to allow us entry without visitor permits. Even though we had already paid the $850 for our resident permits, we were forced to pay an additional $700 for a useless visitor permit. That was a VERY unexpected $700 we had to pay that was intended for other uses.
Bill and Cyndi Stinson met us at the airport and took us to the place we would stay the night. Bill, Cyndi, Anna (my oldest daughter) and myself then went to the service at one of the churches of Christ in Dar. It was Anna's first experience of an African worship service which she found very interesting.
After meeting back up with the rest of the family, we stayed in Dar es Salaam for the day. We ate at the Waterfront restaurant (which sits right on the Indian Ocean) and Bill took us to some other places that I would need to be aware of as administrator. We went to a shopping center where we purchased a few items. We didn't sleep that much but awoke early the next day and was ready to go when Bill and Cyndi came to the room. We quickly loaded the bus and was on our way before 5 AM. We drove almost 13 hours from Dar es Salaam to the Chimala Mission. Along the way, we saw zebra, elephants, giraffes, warthogs, baboons, etc. It was quite an experience for the kids.
We arrived at the Chimala Mission later that night and was shown to our new home. We will be staying in the Mays House which as 5 bedrooms and 2 baths. We will be getting the house painted next week inside and out so we are still living out of our suit cases currently until we get everything more settled.
The next day, Bill and Cyndi took us on a tour of the Chimala Mission. It is a big place!! The amount of activity on the mission and the people are really hard to grasp at this point (and a bit overwhelming, too!).
This week, there is a large group of 17 people on a medical mission trip. Janice Bingham brought several nursing students from Harding University. Also, three doctors accompanied the Harding group: Dr. Frank Black, Dr. Stephen Snell, and Dr. Kent Brantly. They also brought the families as well which has been a treat. We also met Cherly Bode who has been here for about six weeks and will leave on Monday. She is a nurse looking to do medical mission work and she wants to come back here to Chimala to work later this year or early next year. The total medical mission group has done a marvelous job at the hospital. Rena was able to witness her first Africa C-section and natural birth (all with 2 hours of each other).
I have preached at the Chimala Mission church on Wednesday evening and also today (Sunday) AM and PM service. I have also been involved with a meeting with the evangelism committee which is developing a plan to evangelize all of south-western Tanzania and to develop the existing congregations. As I am taking over for Bill Stinson as the mission administrator, I have a steep learning curve to learn as much as I can in the next three weeks from Bill before he leaves to go home. It is a big job!
The family is doing well and adjusting as well as can be expected. I will have more information next Sunday on the work and the family. Please continue to pray for our safety, health, and endurance as we begin our work with the Chimala Mission.
Chad and Rena